Grey Hair Equals Cuff Tear – Or that’s how the saying goes amongst Orthopedic Surgeons
Discovering that quote was a bit unsettling, but a common problem for people over 40 years of age is a rotator cuff tear.
Most commonly a result of repetitive activity, they can be painful and debilitating, making everyday tasks, such as brushing your hair, difficult.
However, pain while sleeping is usually what prompts a patient to seriously consider treatment options. The inability to sleep, no matter what your position, significantly affects your quality of life and your emotional well being. Unfortunately, shoulder pain that wakes you from sleep is quite often a rotator cuff tear.
What is a Rotator Cuff Tear?
The rotator cuff is comprised of a series of four muscles and tendons that surround the top of the upper arm bone (humerus) and hold it in the shoulder joint. In time the tendon tissue starts to wear thin and changes its internal structure. Given more time, all the tendon tissue might separate, producing a full thickness, or complete rotator cuff tear.
As an analogy, think of a rope that is fraying with time, or your favorite pair of blue jeans as they wear thin and finally rip.
A complete, or full thickness tear, usually requires surgery to stitch the two sides back together again. However, it is important to recognize that surgery cannot improve the basic quality of the tendon tissue. If the quality of the tissue being repaired is poor, than recurrent tears often occur, requiring additional surgeries.
The good news is that Stem Cell therapy has the capability to repair partial tears and assist in the healing and strengthening of the tendon in post-surgical full tears as well.
See Study from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons – http://newsroom.aaos.org/media-resources/news/stem-cells-may-significantly-improve-tendon-healing-reduce-retear-risk-in-rotator-cuff-surgery.htm
For more information about rotator cuff tear treatment options go to Rotator Cuff Treatment Options